Balasore (Orissa): Adding a new feather to India’s missile prowess, 290-km range BrahMos cruise missile was today successfully test-fired as part of trials by the Army from the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur off Orissa coast.
“User’s trial of BrahMos conducted by the Indian Army was successful,” ITR director S P Dash said after the missile blasted off from a mobile launcher at around 11:35 AM from the launch complex-3 of the test range.
The trial was conducted for achieving the maximum range of 290 km of the supersonic missile, he said.
The missile can fly at 2.8 times the speed of sound carrying conventional warheads up to 300 kg for a range of 290 km and can effectively engage ground targets from an altitude as low as 10 metres.
Developed in a joint venture with Russia, the sophisticated BrahMos cruise missile is capable of being launched from submarines, ships, aircraft and land based Mobile Autonomous Launchers (MAL), a Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO) official said.
One regiment of the 290-km range BrahMos-I variant, consisting of 67 missiles, five mobile autonomous launchers on 12x12 Tatra vehicles and two mobile command posts, among other equipment, is already operational in the Army.
Similarly, the Navy has started inducting the first version of BrahMos missile system in all its frontline war ships from 2005, defence sources said.
Army, on its part, is set to induct two more regiments of the BrahMos Block-II land-attack cruise missiles (LACM), designed as “precision strike weapons” capable of hitting small targets in cluttered urban environments, they said.
BrahMos-II can potentially be used for “surgical strikes”, including at terrorist training camps, without causing collateral damage.
BrahMos Block-II variant has been developed to take out a specific small target, with a low radar cross-section, in a multi-target environment.
The BrahMos missile is a two-stage vehicle that has a solid propellant booster and a liquid propellant ram-jet system.
The first flight test of the BrahMos was conducted on 12 June, 2001 at the ITR at Chandipur in Orissa coast and the last trial of the naval version of BrahMos was carried out in a vertical mode successfully on March 21, 2010 from Indian navy ship INS Ranvir off Orissa coast.